The Calling of Katie Makanya Essay

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The Calling of Katie Makanya

Around the time of Katie Makanya’s childhood, South Africa was beginning to change rapidly due to the discovery of diamonds, which ultimately kept bringing Europeans into their territory causing their cultures and race to blend together. This book illustrates the black South African life that Katie lives and how she uneasily adapts to the incoming European culture during those years of colonization. Although Katie was brought up with a strong sense of her native culture we see that in the beginning of the book Katie seems to be curious of what European culture is like. Katie and her sister get the opportunity the visit England to perform in their choir, The Jubilees. Before her departure Katie was excited
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At first there were only minor things of western culture that did not appeal to Katie, but after being colonized the major issues she did have were segregation, white racism and how Europeans turned her people into industrial wage workers to keep up with the growing effects of colonialism. After being sent away to go live with her aunt, Katie knew that she had to go find work by basically being someone’s slave. She didn’t like the fact that she had to take orders from the white man’s wife and be at her beck and call. These new aspects of western culture were forced down her throat but they were definitely ones that she rejected and would not have them as part of her life.
As the book goes into more detail we do start to see some aspects of European culture that Katie does accept. For example, she still remains true to Christian faith, which is a major part of western culture. She shows that she has adopted the ways of European marriage traditions/customs. Her Auntie wanted her to marry in her white gown that he had previously worn in her choir, but Katie only wanted her wedding to be like “the English girl in the City Temple in London” (McCord pg. 112). Instead of listening to Auntie, Katie had her own dress made out of white watered silk. She had bridesmaids, a bouquet of flowers and a wedding cake, all European style. In her later years, Katie also was willing to learn the techniques of modern medicine when she became a nurse, in which I

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